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Faithless' Maxi Jazz Has Died, Aged 65
Christian Eede , December 24th, 2022 18:04

"He was a man who changed our lives in so many ways," a statement shared by Faithless said

Maxi Jazz, lead vocalist for Faithless, has died, aged 65.

An official statement shared via Faithless' social media pages today (December 24) said the musician, real name Maxwell Fraser, died "peacefully at his home in South London" on Friday night (December 23). No further cause of death was given.

The statement continued: "He was a man who changed our lives in so many ways. He gave proper meaning and a message to our music. He was also a lovely human being with time for everyone and a wisdom that was both profound and accessible.

"It was an honour and, of course, a true pleasure to work with him. He was a brilliant lyricist, DJ, Buddhist, a magnificent stage presence, car lover, endless talker, beautiful person, moral compass and genius. Rest in peace dearest Max."

Born in Brixton in June 1957, Fraser first emerged as a hip hop DJ on the pirate radio station Reach FM in 1984, and released an album called The Soul Food Café under the moniker The Soul Food Café System that same year. He moved on to another pirate station, LWR, in 1987, and continued to push hip hop. A further album under the alias, Original Groovejuice Vol. 1, was released in 1996.

In 1995, Fraser met producer Rollo Armstrong at a recording studio and formed Faithless together with him, Sister Bliss and Jamie Catto – the latter left the project in 1999. They released their debut album, Reverence, in 1996, which featured perhaps the group's best known hit, 'Insomnia'.

The group's dynamic live shows, with Fraser at the centre as their vocalist, saw them become a favourite on the touring and festival circuit at a time when a number of electronic music acts – including The Chemical Brothers, Orbital and Groove Armanda – were beginning to also garner wide attention for reproducing their work for the live stage.

Faithless headlined Glastonbury's Jazz World Stage in 1999 and were soundtracking the sunset on the Pyramid Stage by 2002. Further high-profile live performances followed in the proceeding years as the group continued to tour regularly, with albums like 1998's Sunday 8PM and 2001's Outrospective featuring further hit singles like 'God Is A DJ' and 'We Come 1' respectively. The group's final studio album to feature Fraser's vocals, The Dance, was released in 2010.